'Anin, Reihan, Shaked, Mon 4.7.11, Morning

Leah R., Anna N.S.

Translator:  Charles K.

06:15  A’anin

I said – “You’re the cops”

About 50 people, plus children and tractors, stand at the middle gate of the checkpoint – a relatively large number for this checkpoint.  Most are men.  They say that new crossing permits were recently received.  The soldiers are new: people are being inspected between the middle gate and the gate into the checkpoint.  The soldiers are registering them by hand.  We didn’t see any problems.

A man we know comes over to us, very upset, and says that on Thursday (the checkpoint is open only on Monday and Thursday) a female soldier refused to let him through.  She claimed that his passport photo in the computer was different from the photo in his ID card.  He shows us his ID to prove that it’s him.  For seven years he’s used this ID to cross, and suddenly he’s not able to!  He’s so offended that he’s shaking and has difficulty speaking:  a young female soldier armed with a “large” weapon doesn’t allow him to reach his land.  “She” forbids him!  She instead waves him off to the DCO.  Without finding out whether or not they’ll receive him.  He, in fact, went to the DCO, where they told him that the person in charge of permits will be there only next Tuesday.  “Today you were lucky,” they told him, “that the soldiers agreed to let you through.”

Palestinians’ time?  What’s that?

M. says that cows from the Israeli Arab locality, Ein Sahala, graze in A’anin’s olive groves, and there’s no one to turn to.  If someone complains (snitches) to the DCO, the cows’ owners cut down his trees or burn them.  On our way back we did see the cows calmly grazing in one of the groves.

06:40  The soldiers get ready to close the checkpoint and we continue on our way.  On the road we see a 13-year-old boy with a huge backpack.  We urge him to hurry to the checkpoint so he’ll be able to return in time, and follow in the car.  The soldiers refuse him entry, say he should wait until they return at 15:00.  In the summer heat.  Wait.  A discussion with the DCO doesn’t help; the soldiers have already driven off.  Finally, one of the officers at the DCO agrees and suggests that the boy cross through the Shaked checkpoint.  We drive him to Tura, give him carfare and – to his great fortune – he went through.

One man presents documents from a hospital in Afula regarding problems with his “broken” back.  He has limited mobility, but even so he’s the only one permitted to reach his lands.  His 19-year-old son is prevented from doing so.  We called the DCO.  They promised to deal with the matter.

Someone else, who just came through the checkpoint, sees us talking to the first man who’s holding the medical documents, hurries and takes out his own documents and shows them to us.  He says, to our amazement:  “I said to myself, ‘You’re the police.’”

07:20  Shaked-Tura checkpoint

The crossing routine.  Everything proceeds as usual; most of those arriving, with permits, came by 07:00.  Three teachers from Jenin on their way to Barta’a.  Matriculation exams in physics are being held today.

Dahar al Malek is festively dressed.  One of the men got married yesterday and the wedding continues today.  “Come, come, of course you should come.”

08:15  Reihan-Barta’a

6-7 pickup trucks wait on the road to be called for inspection and about three more wait in the parking lot.  There must be a way to make the inspection go faster, to carry them out in such a way that the produce doesn’t have to sit in the summer heat.  People go through the fenced corridor constantly; they’re crossing at a reasonable rate.  Laborers wait beyond the checkpoint for rides to work.

The occupation machine is well-oiled!!

08:30  We left.